Today’s the day folks. The moment a committed cadre of us have been nervously awaiting for months. A day that is rapidly becoming one of the most crucial days on the Utah food calendar. Today’s the big day – Beltex Meats have now opened up orders for their Thanksgiving turkeys. Hyperbole on my part you say? Nope. In 2021 Beltex’s birds sold out in less than 96 hours. In and out of existence like a quark under an electron microscope.
I wrote about this last year, and the birds had flown from their shelves by the next day. My inbox was quickly inundated with “why didn’t you tell me sooner”, “what will I tell my family, they’ll disown me”, “I am now a hollow husk, I guess it’s a Hungry Man meal for me now”, and so forth. So again, with alacrity in mind – just head to beltexmeats.com/shop this second.
If you’re still on the fence, here goes my yearly impassioned plea to act swiftly. This is the best turkey you will ever taste. When you find yourself making the pictured sandwich in the days ahead – why are you settling for anything less than perfect?
Let’s get the headline item out of the way, Beltex turkeys aren’t cheap. Nor should they be. These are the antithesis of the frozen footballs you cram under your arm, free after spending $20 at your local barn-o-mart. Beltex Meats source the highest quality product from local and regional farms, and everything is raised humanely and sustainably. No GMO, no misery, no crap.
Beltex are offering this years crop at $12 per pound, remarkably not too different from 2021 considering a year of transit inflation, and a currently unfolding avian flu epidemic. As an aside, should you accuse me of being a shill stuffed with mouthfuls of free turkey – let me add that I just purchased mine before publishing this post. Yep, I stayed up till midnight to buy mine minutes after they went on sale. I’m that certain of the quality. I’m that afraid of the urgent demand.
Onto the specs then. This year matches last with the birds coming via Peterson Family Farms in Lakewood, CO. The free range, antibiotic free turkeys are brined in house at Beltex using a salt water/sugar solution for 72 hours. After that they’re rubbed with a blend of dried herbs and stuffed under the skin with garlic compound butter. Remember, before starting Beltex, owner Philip Grubisa chef’ed at the Waldorf Astoria…
The gobblers are available in two sizes, 12-15lbs and 16-20lbs. I find about 13 mins per pound at 350F does the trick on the big day – see more here. Should you be fretting over exactly how much you’ll need, the rough greasy rule of thumb is 1.25lbs per person. I’ll also remind you that leftover turkey freezes up a charm. You’ll be scraping every last morsel of meat from the brined bones with a serrated grapefruit spoon, trust me. From there, I find myself defrosting a container anytime I need to switch up a tacos or burrito. Pot pies, curries, sandwiches, larb, you name it.
As you read these words, the birds have gone on sale seconds ago – October 1st midnight – via the website only here. This year you’ll need to plonk down a $50 deposit, making the remainder of payment when you pick up in person. Trust me, it’s worth every last dollar. Oh here’s another one for you, Turkey fried rice with stuffing and gravy, you’re welcome:
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Hi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you! I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC; I’m also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune. I’ve worked extensively with multiple local publications from Visit Salt Lake to Salt Lake Magazine, not least helped to consult on national TV shows.
I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have covered the Utah dining scene for the better part of fifteen years. I’m largely fueled by a critical obsession with rice, alliteration and the use of big words I don’t understand. What they’re saying about me: “Not inaccurate”, “I thought he was older”, “I don’t share his feelings”. Want to know more? This is why I am the way I am.
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